Keywords: permeable pavements, geothermal heat pumps, GHP, urban water, eco-efficiency, sustainability, water recycling, renewable energy, pervious pavements, urban stormwater management, sustainable development, green economics, urban runoff, public health risks, flood risk
Permeable (pervious) pavements and geothermal heat pumps: addressing sustainable urban stormwater management and renewable energy
Water and energy are the two most fundamental ingredients of modern civilisation and are also the most precious and essential resources around the globe. They are inseparably coupled and with increasing pressures on these resources as the world's populations grow, the concepts of a combined approach can be applied while addressing the economic, climate, water and energy crises. Sustainable development depends on the efficient use of water and energy resources and on the widespread of water recycling, reuse and renewable energy. The use of permeable pavements with integrated geothermal heat pumps (GHP) for the treatment of urban runoff is a novel application and addresses the concept of concurrently reducing the carbon footprint for non-conventional heating and cooling systems whilst treating urban stormwater runoff. At The University of Edinburgh, Institute of Infrastructure and Environment, research is being carried out on GHP (ground source) and permeable pavement systems (PPS) to provide scientific evidence of their workability as a combined system for residential and commercial uses. The research enables decision-makers to assess public health risks, treatment requirements and removal efficiencies, and the potential for urban water runoff recycling as well as alleviation of flood risk.